Please note: The Kawartha Chamber Commerce and Tourism and Dummer News are hosting an All-Candidates Meeting on Thursday, October 11th, 7 – 9 pm at the Douro Community Centre (Wellington Room), 2893 Highway 28 at County Road 4.
Choosing which candidate to vote for is a subjective matter, and will depend on which issues move you most.
We approached our research with a view to finding the candidates who are:
- most attuned to the need for protection of the environment (lake health), especially in the case of large developments on or near the lakes;
- most committed to open, transparent local government and to listening to and consulting with the community on key issues, including environmental protection.
= This candidate best reflects the Environment Council mandate to support environmental protection and sustainability for our lakes and adjacent lands.
With the above factors in mind, and having reviewed a wide variety of sources, we present the candidates for Douro-Dummer Township:
J. Murray Jones – MAYOR
Shelagh Landsmann – COUNCILLOR, WARD 2 (Dummer Ward)
CANDIDATES FOR DEPUTY MAYOR
Karl Moher (incumbent)
At the August 25th candidates meeting his three most important issues were infrastructure, support for septic re-inspection and improving support for Parks and Rec and associated facilities.
Responses on Hall’s Glen development: Believes that on the current proposal, the proper review processes are being followed and attached a summary of ORCA requirements as an example. Stated that future projects of this scale in similar locations would have difficulty getting approval because of current local and provincial polices on required sewer and water facilities.
In news release and Peterborough Examiner article of August 8th, Karl said his priorities are creating more family supporting jobs in the region and efficient delivery of municipal services in a climate of shrinking Provincial and Federal government support.
On Council for 19 years, Deputy Mayor for 12 years, Karl has served on virtually every township committee, sits on County Council and ORCA Board. Strong focus on finances. Appears to consider all sides before making a decision. First voted to support septic re-inspection, then moved motion to postpone it. (See Questionnaire response.)
In the September 21st Lakefield Herald candidate profile he said there are some kinks to work out with the new waste management program, especially green waste.
Click here to read Karl’s full Questionnaire Response.
George Giarratana (challenger)
At the August 25th candidates meeting his three issues were better communication between Council and citizens, support for septic re-inspection, and getting Hall’s Glen development built. He said the township needed more revenue and DD should run like a business.
Responses on Hall’s Glen: Answers regarding the current proposal were rather unclear, but he attached a township staff report giving the history of the proposal. Regarding future such developments, he said concerns would be how they would change the character of the neighbourhood overall and the environmental issues; and he pointed out that some larger existing communities do not have municipal sewer or water.
In a Peterborough Examiner article quoting his news release, he lists tourism, business and agriculture as the big issues for the township, but his position on these is not given (news release itself not found). He said the township should consult long-term residents about development proposals and cited an example of a large “commercial” building in his residential neighbourhood. He said councillors and staff should be encouraged to identify problems before – not after – they are created.
He appeared at Council several times regarding this issue and decided to run because of it. No Lakefield Herald candidate profile published to date.
Acknowledged the EC Questionnaire but did not answer it.
CANDIDATES FOR COUNCILLOR AT LARGE
Tom Watt (incumbent)
At the August 25th candidates meeting his three issues were roads, township staff succession planning, and a fair budget for taxpayers. Has served three terms.
Responses on Hall’s Glen: Regarding the current proposal, he believes the studies that have been done are up-to-date and impartial; that a current appeal on the property and conditions to be met may make a downsize necessary; and that personally he would like to see the size reduced. Regarding future such developments close to the lakes, he said such development directly on the lakes would not be sustainable. Regarding such developments in areas not supported by municipal water and sewage systems, he cited reliance on the professional studies and peer reviews to guide Council.
On-line search found no references to planning matters, environment or septic re-inspection. Like other members of Council, Tom initially supported septic re-inspection. He was absent on business when Council voted to postpone it. (See Questionnaire response.)
In his Lakefield Herald candidate profile he said there are still issues to work out on the clear garbage bag/organic waste program, but did not mention any other environment issues.
Click here to read Tom’s full Questionnaire Response.
Marc Trudeau (challenger)
At the August 25th candidates meeting his three issues were to create a Parks and Recreation plan and committee, to improve succession planning for municipal staff, and economic development. Marc ran for Douro Ward in 2014.
Responses on Hall’s Glen: Regarding the current proposal, he said he had not reviewed the studies conducted and would want to have full review of them and consider having updated studies completed. Asked if he plans to pursue further mitigation pertaining to the number of homes planned, he said yes, the growth needs to be sustainable and be supported with appropriate environmental friendly services.
Regarding future such developments close to the lakes, he said he did not think continued growth near the lakes is sustainable. That it creates additional lake traffic, noise and pollution. That growth needs to be toward Peterborough where there is possible access to city services like water, sewer and better-quality internet.
Regarding such development in areas not supported by municipal water and sewage systems, he said councillors have a responsibility to ensure that current citizens are not affected negatively by pollution or “over saturation” of the water table, resulting in water shortage. That councillors must ensure they’re doing due diligence and employing the right experts to provide Council with the current information and plans.
In a September 15th Facebook post he says he’s learned much through his campaigning about what people want, that he’s hearing clear, consistent messages, that it’s clear people want change.
In a Lakefield Herald profile he mentions “some of the most beautiful natural resources” – Warsaw park and Douro park – but doesn’t mention the lakes. No reference to environment, planning matters or septics. Marc said he would be an “advocate for the better of our greater community” and will always speak up, not sit back. He sits on Douro Dummer Library board.
Click here to read Marc’s full Questionnaire Response.
CANDIDATES FOR COUNCILLOR – WARD 1 (Douro Ward)
Ray Johnston (incumbent)
At the August 25th candidates meeting his three issues were infrastructure (roads), support for garbage initiatives (clear bags and compost) and the policing contract.
Ray is a long-term councillor – a 2014 Lakefield Herald article says he had then served eight terms – making the upcoming term potentially his tenth. Appears interested only in Douro Ward.
Did not respond to ASLC questions about Hall’s Glen.
Like other councillors, Ray first voted for septic re-inspection, then seconded the motion to postpone it. Online search found no further information. No Lakefield Herald candidate profile published to date.
Ray did not respond to our EC Questionnaire.
Heather Watson (challenger)
At the August 25th candidates meeting, her three issues were infrastructure, environment (clear garbage bags, septic inspections and lake health), and open and accessible government (better website posting re. Council meetings, more consultation).
In an online video following the meeting she elaborated on her ideas about infrastructure (arenas, library, roads, etc.) and said the clear bag garbage program is not working – people are working around it – and that the township needs to develop a proper way to deal with organic waste.
Responses on Hall’s Glen: Regarding the current development proposal, said she had not yet reviewed the studies. That working within the confines of the Planning Act, she would support ensuring that the proposed subdivision has proper oversight to mitigate any negative environmental impact. Regarding future development near the lakes, she said she supports development on and around the lakes providing it fits within the Townships’ OP and Zoning By-laws.
She said Council needs to look at updating its OP with consideration given to sustainable development on the lakes and in consideration of new restrictions placed on agricultural development and the identification of heritage land in the Township. And that development of this scale is only appropriate when the anticipated demands on the water table and septic tank needs can be satisfied.
In general, she said she believes in sustainable development, that our natural environment needs protecting and we must balance the desire for growth with the ability to sustain that growth in the long term.
Her website and Facebook page outline her political experience (working on Peterborough Mayor Bennett’s campaign and four years in his office, diploma in Municipal Administration from Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO), and work on many community groups and events, including the Douro-Dummer Library Board.
In a Lakefield Herald candidate profile she says she has been attending DD Council meetings and watching and learning how Council makes decisions. She feels that Council has become complacent and needs to look to the future and fight for more funding from upper levels of government. No mention of planning matters, environment or septics in this article.
Click here to read Heather’s full Questionnaire Response.